Managing Production Design:
Tirade on Stupid User Interfaces
I have several accounts with a credit card company: two cards and a merchant account. They don't want the expense of printing monthly statements for the merchant account, so they sent me a letter to enroll my merchant account in online statements to avoid the paper charge.
In my default browser (Safari), I attempt to log in. I can't (Problem #1). In fact, I end up in browser limbo, with some message about too many redirect (Problem #2). I try to log in in Explorer. I can't. It tells the me password is wrong (Problem #3). I call the 800 number three times before I get someone who tells me I need a new user id. I ask why. The nice lady says, "We keep our businesses separate, so you need a user id." I say, "But (and I'm starting to rave here), the web UI looks the same. I have tabs at the top of each page that allow me to move back and forth. If you've integrated the web page, why not integrate the user ids???" (I'm definitely speaking loudly, because I'm so angry with the stupidity, waste of my time, and lack of documentation.) Poor lady just keeps saying they keep their business separate (Problem #4).
Rothman is generous, she does not name the company in question. Other bloggers would not be so nice. Public Relations is not getting your name in the press. Public Relations has to do with how your company relates to the public. There is no press release or advertising campaign in the world that can undo the damage of poor customer service.